A Question Regarding Hardware Upgrades RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all.

    I just finished reading a rather interesting article (found at: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/vista_activation_strikes_again_time_to_fight_back).

    Needless to say, this has aroused substantial fears. I plan to upgrade many of my computer components this holiday season, including new RAM, adding an additional hard drive, and a new graphics card. This is legitimate. It is my computer, legally owned by me. I did purchase, legally own, and have activated an OEM version of Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. It is my legal right to upgrade my computer with zero hassles - but will this be the case?

    The above mentioned article, which does site sufficient reliable sources, says that even a driver update, as would be required for my new video card, could force me into a several hour long ordeal just to proceed with the fair use of my property. This would be most immoral, and likely illegal. But it could happen anyway.

    To the point, my question is this: will I be able to upgrade my computer's memory and video card, and add a second hard drive, without any problems?

    Regardless of your answer, please tell me what credentials you have to allow you to make such a statement. Have you done such an upgrade before, with zero problems or other re-activation shenanigans? Have you successfully changed three pieces of hardware, and all related drivers, and met no resistance at all?

    If you are a Microsoft employee, please know this: this is unacceptable. Completely unacceptable that I should even have to ask this question. This is my computer, and I may upgrade it as I see fit. It is not your place to decide what I can or cannot do with my hardware or non-Microsoft software. When I install Windows Vista on my new 150GB Western Digital Raptor this December, new video card and RAM safely installed, I should be able to enjoy the software of my choice without having to go to unreasonable lengths to reactivate. If you want me to re-enter my product key, fair enough. It's right here on the side of my computer, ready to be given. But if you expect me to wait on hold on the phone, on a long distance (for me) call, no less, that is unacceptable.

    In summary: what problems could one encounter regarding Windows Activation/Validation when making substantial changes to my hardware, and if any, why are they not being fixed?

    Thank you for reading, and have a pleasant day.
    Monday, October 29, 2007 12:19 AM


All replies

  • I read the same article.  I tested beta versions of Vista and chose not to upgrade until some improvements were made.  This behavior of Vista is unacceptable.  If Microsoft wishes to not make major changes in this behavior of Vista, I will not purchase it for home or recommend it for use at work.  All copies of Windows I have ever used were purchased by me for use with one computer.  XP provides enough hassles when reinstalling it, I will not tolerate any more!  Microsoft:  are you reading this???

    Monday, October 29, 2007 4:43 AM
  • I have personally swapped video cards, added RAM, added a second & third hard drive, added a new sound card, added a new monitor, added a new DVD drive, flashed the motherboard BIOS, installed driver updates and was never requested to reactivate my installed version of Windows Vista.  Don't believe all that your read regarding negative comments concerning Windows product activation.  Those articles take a micro-issue with a very small minority of users and blow it way out of proportion!


    Monday, October 29, 2007 6:13 AM
  • Technical Details of Microsoft Product Activation: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457054.aspx


    Update for Windows Vista to improve the product activation and validation process:



    You may be prompted to activate Windows Vista on a computer on which Windows Vista was already activated:


    Monday, October 29, 2007 6:50 AM
  • While I am still concerned that this issue happens at all, even for the minority you describe, the provided updates and information should make upgrading my computer far easier, and less time consuming. I'm glad to hear I'm not playing with fire just by installing Vista on a new, faster hard drive, along with more RAM and a faster video card.

    Thank you for the prompt responses, and have a nice day.
    Monday, October 29, 2007 10:09 PM
  • I am so glad you didn't have any problems............. what a wonderful situation for you................ I have had NOTHING but time consuming problems............... I am now considering consultng our Attorney General because HP installed a hard drive and system board on my "new" laptop and I haven't been able to get Vista activated since!  Booo for both HP and Microsoft!

    Friday, February 1, 2008 9:23 PM